Operations Advisor

United Nations Office for Project Services  

Operations Advisor

The UNOPS Peace and Security Cluster (PSC) is a principal service provider in the field of mine action with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), UNDP, UNICEF, Governments of mine-affected countries and other mine action partners.  It is led by the Director, who has overall authority and accountability for the performance PSC on behalf of its clients.  The Director is responsible for administering and providing oversight of the day-to-day management of the Project Field offices, both according to the client requirements and in line with UNOPS rules and regulations.

Background information UNMAS 

  • UNMAS is a division of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peace Operations (DPO). UNMAS is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly (RES/68/72) to ensure an effective, proactive, and coordinated response to the problem posed by a wide range of explosive hazards. Legislative mandates also recognize UNMAS technical expertise in responding to threats posed by unsecured and unsafe conventional weapons and ammunition stockpiles. As an office within DPO, UNMAS supports peacekeeping and special political missions in accordance with Security Council mandates.

 Functional Responsibilities

  • Support the Head of Project Unit (HPU) and Chief of Mine Action Programme (CMAP) in providing advisory support on all Weapon and Ammunition management matters, such as:
  • Support the development and management of Weapons and Ammunition Management (WAM) related projects and activities in accordance with agreed work plans, objectives, priorities, and resources;
  • Provide programme and strategic policy and technical advice and coordination support on WAM, and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) as requested by national authorities, donors, international and regional stakeholders, and United Nations management;
  • Assist UN Missions / national authorities in the development of strategies, action plans, standards, and projects in alignment with the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATGs), including measurable targets to a sustained improvement of ammunition safety and security;
  • Contribute to resource mobilization efforts to support national authorities with WAM through preparation of funding proposals, programme concepts and budgets;
  • Conduct field and desk assessments of relevant sites aligned with the IATGs;
  • Review national WAM standards with the national authorities and security forces, considering technical guidance from implementing partners, using best practices identified in IATGs and other relevant guidance as a baseline;
  • Review WAM workplans and requests for non-WAM assistance, especially regarding Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and support to DDR weapons disposal;
  • Provide training and mentorship support to national WAM personnel;
  • Identify continuous improvements and lessons learned;
  • Implement any other tasks requested by the HPU/CMAP.

Operations – Implementation and monitoring 

  • Ensure operations are conducted in accordance with UNOPS policies and standards, such as:
  • Financial and procurement rules
  • Contract and grant management policies
  • Project management standards
  • Health, safety, social and environmental standards
  • Gender parity and mainstreaming policies
  • Information management systems and standards
  • Organizational design standards and human resources policies

Ensure Weapon Ammunition Management is conducted in accordance with technical standards and national policy, such as:

  • IATGs
  • Modular Small Arms Control Implementation Compendium (MOSAIC)
  • UN Manual on Ammunition Management

Oversee, coordinate, and monitor WAM related operations and performance (both conducted in-house and those conducted through third-party contractors and grantees), including:

  • Issue tasks to implementing partners and review their reports upon completion;
  • Provide assistance in monitoring and evaluation through field inspections, reviews of task reports by implementing partners, measure progress against issued tasks and national work plans and be adherence to standards;
  • Ensure third-party contracts and grants are delivered in accordance with contractual / grant terms and conditions, including in accordance with relevant technical, operational, and quality assurance processes (Implementation Plan, SOPs, task orders issuance, accreditation);
  • Design, implement and oversee a robust quality management and information management system;
  • Design and maintain a risk management system focused on problem solving which ties into contract management awareness; maintain and utilize risk and issues logs;
  • Organize debriefings with the grantee/contractor to provide feedback on performance against deliverables and if necessary, discuss corrective actions to be taken in following months, recommend liquidated damages and/or lead dispute resolutions if necessary;
  • Advise the HPU and CMAP on potential technical and operational issues that may impact the achievement of programme / project outcomes and appropriate solutions;
  • Lead Boards of Inquiry as relevant;
  • Ensure operational plans are cost effective and reviewed regularly.

Stakeholder management

  • Act as the principle WAM advisor to UN missions/ national authorities, along with regional and international stakeholders regarding the safety, security and management of weapons, ammunition and explosives;
  • In support of the HPU and CMAP, engage national mine action authorities and/or relevant government ministries and entities for purposes of coordination as requested, specifically relating to review/implementation of National Technical Standards and Guidelines and/or International Mine Action Standards and other relevant international standards as well as treaty implementation/obligations.

People management

  • Support recruitment, training, guidance, empower and develop the WAM team, with consideration for individual training and development needs;
  • Mentor and advise WAM personnel in planning, execution, and delivery of allocated projects, ensuring incorporation of best operational processes;
  • Promote teamwork, collaboration, and diversity by providing the WAM team with clear direction, objectives, and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively, and efficiently;
  • Directly lead national and international UNOPS personnel in a multicultural team, ensuring a professional, ethical, and well-managed operations team;
  • Foster a positive and enabling work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed;
  • Ensure that regular performance reviews are conducted, and any issues are immediately addressed.

Knowledge management and innovation

  • Ensure WAM records and related files are well maintained;
  • Implement relevant tools and templates to effectively manage efficient and effective WAM projects;
  • Keep abreast of and incorporate latest/best practices, approaches, and technology to enhance operational results;
  • Initiate and undertake lessons learned exercises, including the sharing, effective filing, and incorporation into future operational plans and ensure information sharing

Impact of Results

  • The effective and successful performance by the WAM advisor directly impacts the achievement of UNOPS project deliverables and UNMAS programme results and consequently reinforces the visibility and image of the UNMAS programme.

 Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Advanced university degree (Master degree or equivalent) with 7 years of relevant experience is required OR
  • First level university degree (Bachelor degree or equivalent) with 9 years of relevant experience OR
  • Military or police experience  with  13 years of relevant experience.


  • Ammunition Technical Officer, Ammunition Technician, or equivalent national / international certification is required.


  • Relevant experience is defined as experience in WAM project management and implementation in a military, humanitarian, conflict, post-conflict, or development context.

Experience in team management is required.  

  • Experience in the development of national policy and technical instructions for stockpile management of ammunition and explosive substances and articles is required.
  • Experience in training design and delivery of instruction is required.

Language Requirements

  • Fluency (reading, writing, and speaking) is required. Arabic is desired.
  •  Please include a cover letter in your application and copies of all required certifications.

Source: https://jobs.unops.org/Pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=24660#3 

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